Friday, September 14, 2001

Shrimp farm
losses grow

Kauai-based Ceatech says it
needs to borrow money to boost
production to profitable levels

By Russ Lynch

Despite a 70.6 percent increase in sales, Kauai-based shrimp farmer Controlled Environment Aquaculture Technology Inc. saw its second-quarter loss rise 10.8 percent over the loss for the year-earlier quarter.

Ceatech has accumulated losses totaling more than $6.7 million since it was started in January 1995 and the company's latest financial report to the Securities & Exchange Commission said Ceatech will need to borrow money to get into the black.

The company had a loss of $457,317 in the quarter that ended July 31, equal to 6 cents a share, compared to a loss of $373,699, or 9 cents a share (with fewer shares outstanding), in the year-earlier quarter. Revenues of $869,891 in the latest quarter were up from $509,969 in the second quarter of 2000.

The company had some good news. It said it has conquered some production problems and has construction well under way for 20 new one-acre shrimp ponds, which the company said will allow it to increase production to the point where it can become profitable.

"The company believes that its initial 20 growout ponds do not produce sufficient amounts of shrimp to generate positive cash flow," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Ceatech said, the rate at which its shrimp were growing during the second quarter was the highest in the company's history. Ceatech said it sold about 148,000 pounds of shrimp in the quarter that ended July 31, up 72 percent from 86,000 pounds in the year-earlier quarter.

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